Limerick Chamber has welcomed the Government’s recent decision on the future of Shannon Airport and Minister Varadkar’s clarification that the new Airport entity will be debt free.

This decision underlines the important role Shannon Airport has as a state-owned and national strategic asset and provides the ability for Shannon Airport to develop as an independent entity, separate from Dublin Airport. We have stressed to the Minister that this is only a first step in a process that needs to be completed this year.

We have consistently lobbied for this change to come about and to ensure that Shannon Airport would become an independent but state owned airport with a strong commercial focus that would allow it to develop to its full potential for passenger, cargo, aircraft maintenance and aviation services.

Following Limerick Chamber’s Breakfast Briefing with Minister Varadkar at the end of January this year, we have been focused on ensuring that the views of the business community in Limerick and the Mid West are taken on board by Government and we believe that the series of meetings and submissions made by the Chamber have had a positive impact on this decision.

This is only a first step and Limerick Chamber will continue to lobby for the finalisation of Terms of Reference for the Steering Group which are commercially focused and see the immediate establishment of this Group with strong leadership and appropriate expertise. We are also concerned that this focus on the long term model for the Airport, whilst welcome, may result in the immediate challenge of route development and the retention and growth of passenger numbers not being addressed and we will continue to lobby for this to be focused on as a matter of urgency.

The business community in Limerick and the Mid West needs a strong, viable Shannon Airport and it remains a priority of Limerick Chamber to see this fully implemented as quickly as possible and we will continue to work hard on behalf of you, our members, to see this come about.

Yours sincerely

Gordon Kearney